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Larding is a cooking technique, where strips of fat or smoked fatty bacon are inserted into lean meat, game or game poultry. The fat is inserted into the meat at even intervals with a larding needle. Larding and the related cooking technique barding are supposed to prevent the meat from becoming too dry during cooking, especially during cooking with dry heat, such as roasting in the oven. Furthermore the bacon imparts a special flavour to the meat.

Bacon or fat used for larding is cut in thin strips or lardons. When cooked, the fat of these lardons melts and permeates the meat.

Larding has become somewhat old-fashioned in modern cuisine. In most cases barding is better suited to keep lean meat moist. During larding meat fibres are destroyed and more juices can leave the meat. Meat larded by an unexperienced cook may sometimes come out just as dry as without any larding. Barding is therefore the better alternative for cooks that have no experience in that area.

An interesting variation to larding with bacon is the addition of anchovies or thin strips of a neutral, firm cheese. Much experience is needed to judge whether those ingredients go well the chosen meat and will create a pleasant flavour, or if they will create an unpleasant aftertaste.

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